Farmers and producers

Cows electrocuted by falling power lines

[13 September/Rural Life] Eleven dairy cows have recently been electrocuted when powerlines broke and fell, raising concerns that unmaintained lines across Northland could kill again. The cows were located on a Dargaville property. It was warned that ageing, rotting, and rusting power poles on private properties were dangerous. Northpower Spokesman, Steve Macmillan, said it was...

Young Farmers Contest changes to encourage more women to enter

[12 September/Stuff] A key problem with the FMG Young Farmer of the Year competition is that women aren’t winning and it is planning significant changes to attract more female entries. Farmer, Lisa Kendall, was one of only four women to have reached the final in the 50 years the contest had been running. She said...

New Young Farmers CEO is excited to make her return to agribusiness

[10 September/Rural Life] Lynda Coppersmith has been appointed as the first female chief executive of New Zealand Young Farmers. She is currently a senior account manager with MYOB but has worked with DairyNZ and LIC in the past. She was excited about the opportunity. NZYF has almost 80 clubs, runs the FMG Young Farmer of...

Farm debt mediation bill needs more work

[10 September/Radio NZ] A new bill on farm debt was called weak by a parliamentary select committee, and sent away for more work. The bill provides for mediation between banks and farms before receivership or liquidation action is taken. The proposal was condemned by insolvency specialist, John Fisk. However, New Zealand First MP, Mark Patterson,...

Land use concerns farmers

[5 September/Otago Daily Times] Foresters and farmers were wary of a report from the Productivity Commission on New Zealand meeting its climate change target. In particular, they are uncertain on the achievability of the annual forest planting rate of 100,000 hectares. Federated Farmers were concerned about the amount of land required for planting while the...

Pamu to pay Govt $5m dividend

[3 September/The Country] Landcorp would pay a $5 million dividend to the Government, being its first in four years. It had an after tax profit of $34.2 million, which was a 34 percent fall on the previous year. Revenue had grown 7 percent and included a 15 percent increase in livestock revenue. Pamu Chief Executive,...

Get used to higher costs of farming

[21 August/Rural News] Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, said farmers should get used to the increasing costs of farming in New Zealand. He added the reality was we are in a world that was scrutinising every part of our farming operations. He referred to accountability and product origin when explaining this. He claimed a recent apple...

Young Farmers elect first woman chair in 12 years

[10 August/The Country] Ash-Leigh Campbell has been elected chair of the NZ Young Farmers board and became the first woman in the position for twelve years. She is a technical farm manager with Ngai Tahu, and helped oversee the management of eight dairy farms. She said she was privileged to be elected chair and was...

Farmer confidence at its weakest in 6 years

[1 August/Rural Life] New Zealand farmer confidence fell to its lowest level in six years due to uncertainty with government policies. According to the latest Federated Farmers confidence survey, around 39 percent of farmers surveyed were pessimistic about the economic conditions over the next year. This was the lowest level recorded since 2012. ANZ’s business...

Farmers seek off-farm income to counter rising costs

[30 July/Stuff] According to a survey by Lincoln University, over a quarter of farms obtained 30 percent or more of their income from off-farm sources. Farmers have struggled to keep up with the price increases. Federated Farmers Meat and Wool Chairman, Miles Anderson, said he was not surprised given the downturn in the sheep industry...

$14m earnings boost for state farmer

[20 July/Rural News] Landcorp Farming expects a $14 million boost in revenues due to higher than expected milk and meat prices. It said allocation of additional carbon units would also lift earnings. It received the allocation after the five yearly audit by the Ministry for Primary Industries. It noted its EBITDAR for the 2018 financial...

Stock rustling takes shine off a good year for sheep farmers

[17 July/Stuff] Wairarapa farmers are becoming increasingly angered by rustlers stealing sheep, and say it is becoming noticeable in hurting their bottom lines. Gladstone sheep and beef farmer, Andrew Rayner, has had so many thefts that he now avoids putting stock in roadside paddocks. Farmers estimate that incidents are occurring about once a fortnight and...

Woodville farmer first woman elected head of Young Farmer competition

[15 July/Stuff] Woodville farmer, Rebecca Brown, has been elected chairwoman of the FMG Young Farmer of the Year committee. She was the first woman to hold the role. She said she was honoured and it showed woman could do anything. She was one of three women appointed to the board. The new members meant half...

Wallace named Young Farmer of the Year

[8 July/Stuff] Logan Wallace was named the Young Farmer of the Year. He was a sheep farmer from South Otago and beat six other contestants to win the competition. He has a certificate in agriculture and a diploma in rural business from Telford. He is also a Land Search and Rescue member. The contestants visited...

Mackenzie Basin: Fonterra dairying criticism rejected

[4 July/Radio NZ] Dunedin businessman, Murray Valentine, was behind the planned mega dairy conversion in the Mackenzie Basin. He was rejecting criticism from Fonterra about further intensification of the vulnerable landscape. He was originally granted consent for 15,000 cows but planned to put 2,000 on it by next year. Greenpeace campaigners chained themselves to heavy...

Farmer confidence ‘hanging in the balance’ amid M. bovis concerns

[5 July/NBR] According to a Rabobank survey, the impacts of Mycoplasma bovis were the main reason for a 100 percent rise in the number of farmers who expected the rural economy to worsen. Rabobank New Zealand General Manager for Country Banking, Hayley Gourley, said confidence was hanging in the balance with the number of farmers...

First woman to lead Feds arable elected to national board

[4 July/Rural News] Federated Farmers elected Karen Williams as its arable chairperson at its national conference. She would replace Guy Wigley who stepped down after three years in the role. She was the first woman to lead the Federation’s arable sector. She was previously a planner with the Greater Wellington Regional Council, and now runs...

Fuel tax hits

[2 July/Farmers Weekly] The Auckland fuel tax could cost some individual vegetable growers up to $100,000 per year. The industry was annoyed, calling the introduction chaotic and rushed. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, was unsure why KiwiRail was exempt from the tax but offroad vehicles used by growers, horticulturalists and farmers who would...

Big cheeses from UK and US cleared to buy farms in NZ

[2 July/Stuff] American millionaires Margaret and Gary Hirshberg are investing in New Zealand after getting approval from the Overseas Investment Office. They were cleared to buy a property near Motueka to set up an organic sheep farm and organic market garden. They also intended to do extensive native planting. The sellers got $4 million for...

Fuel tax to increase healthy food prices

[28 June/Rural News] The Regional Fuel Tax introduced by Labour this week has caused confusion in the horticulture sector. Horticulture New Zealand Chief Executive, Mike Chapman, said the tax did not have an exemption system for off-road behind the farm gate vehicles and machinery. He added 441 fruit and vegetable growers in Auckland would be...

Top economist moves to Manawatu

[26 June/Farmers Weekly] A capital gap in the primary sector has led a leading rural economist to make the move from bank to investment company. Con Williams was appointed as head of MyFarm’s newly formed investment research division. He attended Fieldays under the ANZ banner for the last time and said he suspected the work...

Chinese owner fights access to NZ farm, says would harm NZ image

 [21 June/Stuff] Officials and the owner of a Wairarapa sheep station were deadlocked over public access to a forest hut and tramping trail. If the disagreement can’t be solved, the Overseas Investment Office has the power to order the property to be sold. The Chinese owner bought the Kawakawa station for $3.3 million in 2015....

Winner – Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year

[14 June/The New Zealand Guild of Agricultural Journalists and Communicators Inc.] New Zealand Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Mike Petersen, was named the 2018 Ravensdown Agricultural Communicator of the Year. He received a trophy and a cash prize. This was the 32nd year the title had been awarded. Mr Petersen was described as a superb communicator...

Gisborne flood is an adverse event

[12 June/Farmers Weekly] The Government has declared the flooding around the Tolaga Bay area a medium scale event according to Agricultural and Rural Communities Minister, Damien O’Connor. Metservice forecast heavy rain and severe gales for parts of northern and central New Zealand including parts of Gisborne where significant damage was caused. Mr O’Connor said the...